Lafayette Federal Credit Union is a regional institution with branch locations in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
Founded in 1935, this small credit union serves roughly 20,000 members in the greater D.C. area.
If you’re looking for a credit union that feels more personal than what you’d get with a bigger bank AND you live in or around D.C., you might want to give Lafayette Federal a try.
A few of their products are fairly competitive in terms of rates, especially for a credit union. For example, they feature a promotional checking account with an APY of 3.03% on balances up to $3,000 as long as a few criteria are met.
They also have solid rates on their longer term certificates of deposit. Their 5 year CD features a yield well over twice the current national average.
For more information on the deposit products offered by this institution as well as membership eligibility, read our full review below.
In this post you'll learn:
Lafayette Federal Credit Union CD Rates + Account Details
Lafayette Federal deposit accounts are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration up to $250,000, the maximum amount allowed.
A unique aspect of Lafayette’s certificate products is that they sell both fixed and variable rate CDs. And both come with competitive rates.
Lafayette Federal Credit Union Fixed-Rate CDs
|CD Term||Minimum Deposit||APY|
To put the offers above in perspective, the current national average for a 1 year CD and a 5 year CD sit at just 0.24% APY and 0.61% APY, respectively.
Lafayette Federal Credit Union Variable-Rate CDs
|CD Term||Minimum Deposit||APY|
There are a few differences between these two certificate types besides the rates.
One is that the variable-rate CDs require a minimum opening deposit of $50 and the fixed-rate CDs require a minimum opening deposit of $500.
Another is that you can deposit more money into a variable-rate account at any time prior to maturity. This cannot be done with the fixed rate CDs.
The most notable difference though is in the name(s) – “variable” and “fixed.” With a fixed CD you are getting a locked into an interest rate until maturity. With a variable CD your rate and APY will rise and fall with the market – much like a money market account or online savings account.
In general, variable-rate CDs are going to be better when you expect interest rates to rise and fixed-rate CDs are going to be best in times of declining interest rates.
Lafayette Federal Credit Union Savings Accounts and Money Market
Lafayette Federal Credit Union has many savings accounts in its product suite:
- A Share savings account, your ticket to membership with Lafayette;
- An IRA savings account,
- A Preferred savings account; and
- A Premier savings account.
The Share savings is going to pay you the least amount in interest but will be the easiest to maintain, and a Premier savings account will pay the most in interest but will require a high deposit and minimum balance to maintain.
Lafayette Federal Credit Union Savings Account Rates
|Share Savings Account||$50||0.10%|
|IRA Savings Account||na||0.50%|
|Preferred Savings Account||$0 – $19,999.99||0.20%|
|Premier Savings Account||1st $50k||0.30%|
|Next $250k +||0.75%|
To give the offers above more context, the current national average for a savings account sits at just 0.06% APY. And the current national average for a money market account doesn’t fare much better at 0.09% APY.
Dividends are compounded quarterly and paid quarterly on all savings accounts.
Lafayette Federal Credit Union Money Market Rates
|$0 – $2,499||0.00%|
|$2,500 – $24,999||0.05%|
|$25k – $149,999||0.15%|
These money market accounts require a minimum opening deposit of $2,500 and they can be opened in-person or online.
How to Avoid Fees on the Savings Accounts and Money Market Accounts
Remember your Share Saving account, while it doesn’t yield much, is your key to membership. So be sure to keep at least $50 in the account. Failure to maintain this balance will result in a $10 monthly charge.
Excessive withdrawals over the federally enforced limit of 6 per statement cycle cost $10 each for Preferred savings accounts, $20 each for money market accounts, and $100 each for Premier savings accounts.
Lafayette Federal Credit Union Relationship Checking
If you open Lafayette’s Relationship Checking account you’ll be signing up for a decent interest-bearing checking account with the potential to earn an APY of 3.03%.
This excellent interest rate is, of course, conditional. It only applies to balances up to $3,000 plus comes with some monthly hoops to jump through (criteria listed below).
Above $3,000, your balance will earn an APY of 0.025%. A minimum opening deposit and average daily balance of just $5 is required. Interest is compounded and paid quarterly similar to Lafayette’s other deposit products.
How to Earn the 3.03% APY on Balances up to $3,000
To earn the 3.03% APY dividend rate, members will be obligated to
- Continue to receive their statement electronically (no paper statements will be mailed),
- Sign in to online banking at least once per month,
- Maintain at least one (1) qualified direct deposit of at least $500 per month, and
- Complete at least five (5) debit card point of sale transactions per month.
Qualified direct deposits include:
- Recurring direct deposits via a paycheck,
- Social Security or
- Other periodic payment of at least $500 into a checking account on a month-to-month basis made by an outside organization or agency.
About Lafayette Federal Credit Union + Eligibility
Lafayette Federal Credit Union is not open membership, so you need to meet their eligibility requirements in order to join.
These criteria are mostly employment and location based. You can immediately qualify through your employer, through your area of residence, or through a family member.
This credit union extends membership to employees of many corporations, some national and even international (Whole Foods, AMEX, and more) and some regional. You can also join if you are the relative of someone that is already a member or if you live in Potomac, Maryland or you live, work, or worship in select regions of D.C.
Those that don’t meet the above eligibility requirements can easily join by becoming a member of the American Consumer Council (ACC) for free through this link. For all details about qualifying employers and regions, please visit the membership eligibility page.
Branches and ATMs
Lafayette Federal participates in co-op shared branching with over 6,000 branches and thousands of surcharge-free ATMs across the country. There are only 8 Lafayette Federal Credit Union branches, and these are located in:
- Crystal City, Virginia
- McLean, Virginia
- Kensington, Maryland
- Potomac, Maryland
- Rockville, Maryland
- Washington, D.C.
Most accounts can be opened and managed online, and Lafayette Federal Credit Union has an app for both Apple and Android devices to make banking more convenient whether you live near a branch location or not.
If you live in the greater D.C. area and are looking for a competitive long term CD or a rewards checking account, then Lafayette Federal Credit Union might be a good home for you.
Just note that better rates on variable rate deposit products can be had through online institutions that don’t have such strict eligibility requirements. The trade-off being you will have a less personalized banking experience and will have to manage your accounts online.